Reply To: Steven Kates on Say's Law


Hi Daniel,

I am sorry for the delay.

I am intrigued by your Version A vs. Version B, and I’m willing to entertain the notion that that is a good way to think about it. (To repeat, the way I have been thinking about it says that Say’s analysis is very important, so I disagree with you that my approach turns his contribution into a trivial thing.)

However, where I simply cannot follow you, is when you argue that JS Mill wasn’t himself promoting what you think is a 20th century distortion. So, I’m willing to suspend judgment on the question of whether JS Mill, 20th century economists, and me in my lecture, did violence to Say’s contribution, but when you’re trying to tell me I’m wrong for thinking JS Mill said what he said, I have to disagree. I mean, can you at least see how you are the one making a difficult claim? It sure seems like I found a quote from Mill saying exactly what you had denied his position was.

At this point I don’t think I can carry this particular argument much further. If I get Kates’s book, is your view his? I.e. if I want to see someone make your Version A versus Version B case, does Kates do it in his book?